Screaming mad? Who cares?

Many of the pictures of Forty-five* published in the press, not to mention his unpredictability and his ravings on stage, point to some form of mental trouble. Yet American psychiatrists have shied away from speculating on his sanity or lack of it, afraid of coming away smattered from a messy combat, as if a diagnosis at a distance would undermine their credibility, putting them on a par with astrologers. Their caution is amusing in a context where expert opinion counts for so little. Forty-five’s campaign is littered with assertions that don’t hold up to careful scrutiny. Expert opinions, if they don’t serve his cause, are stomped in the mud. Experts have no more worth than truth in Forty-five’s world. But who cares? Who cares if he is raving? As long as the show is riveting. He’s a bit like one of those comedians whose taste is so bad, the audience laughs heartily, getting a vicarious thrill from their own embarrassment. An enormous crowd follows him avidly, mistaking his off-the-cuff, poor-taste comments for forthrightness. Despite the debatable truth of what he says and his frequent changes of opinion on policy, these people see him as not only worthy of trust but also as the sole person who can make their dreams of a great and flawless America come true.

*- Forty-fifth president

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